Trader Joe’s has had some of its international food labels questioned recently, with some people calling them racist.
Earlier this month, reports circulated that the company would change their packaging. However, the grocery store chain posted on its website last week that those reports were “inaccurate” and that they do not believe any of their packaging is racist.
Names like Trader Giotto’s, Trader José‘s, and Trader Ming’s being used for decades were at the heart of a petition aimed at getting the store to change its package. While those names aren’t being changed, the company said it discontinued some older names of products that weren’t selling well.
According to Fox 10 Phoenix, Briones Bedell, a California high school senior is demanding a change in Trader Joe’s branding. She created the petition.
The carefully-crafted facade of your friendly neighborhood hipster grocery store belies a darker image; one that romanticizes imperialism, fetishizes native cultures, and casually misappropriates. https://t.co/rxR4nvflUU #TraderJoes— Briones Bedell (@BrionesBedell) July 8, 2020
The petition states that, “a narrative of exoticism that perpetuates harmful stereotypes.” She’s received about 70% of her 7,500-signatures goal.
“We made the decision several years ago to use only the Trader Joe’s name on our products moving forward,” said Kenya Friend-Daniel, Trader Joe’s national director of public relations. “Since then, we have been in the process of updating older labels and replacing any variations with the name Trader Joe’s, and we will continue to do so until we complete this important work.”